Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Paradox's Guide to Becoming One of SC’s Greatest

There are a plethora of sites out to help SC players become better. I have found that stormer’s page is the most beneficial and because of this, do I release this information.

There are an abundance “Tips and Strategies” for the common SC players, the fact is that only about 10% of the time will these tricks win you the game, and most of the tips are meant for specific series’. I have written a guide to coincide with statements previously written by Gooseberry and the theory’s which now exist from stormer.

I HAVE INFORMATION THAT THE SC GODS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW. It is basic information, information that effects the way you play in every game, every series, every time. I will break up this guide into sections, as I said this is to coincide with information all ready given, not a complete guide all in itself.

Winning the Beginning

Opening Moves:
Many of the SC prodigy pages suggest that there is no best way for opening moves, or they suggest only one way. The thing to understand about opening moves is that your opening move determines your strategy for the beginning of the game. It determines how you are going to play the map, and there are many different ways to play.

1 – Exploration:
Exploration is a popular style of play that usually occurs in short maps. This style of play establishes a strong foothold of the map, it usually keeps your opponent from discovering your side of the map, and this allows you use cloakers and other such tricks because the map is so small. The idea is that your tech will be devastated after the first move, so you won’t build until you have some breathing room or until you have popped with the 1 colony you might build. When playing this style you build more than an easy amount of science ships, approximately 4-6. Sometimes a player may include 1 colony or 2-4 attacks.

Cons: Your tech will as I said be devastated. You won’t be as strong economic wise. You will be playing catch up as far as tech goes.

2 – Standard:
The standard way that is suggested in Al’s popular SC tutorial. It is probably best for a series with 4 systems. This will allow you to explore and colonize without losing any considerable amount of tech. The idea is to explore what is needed, colonize your systems along with protecting your colonies, and then popping. This usually consists of building enough sciences to explore each gate from your HW, 2 pairs of attack and colony or separate turns.

Cons: If you have a bad map you will probably not explore all of your systems. There is chance that you might not be able to colonize your needed systems. If the other player builds more science ships than you expect than it ruins everything.

3 – Colonization:
This amount to being able to colonize many systems and making one good pop. The idea is to build many colonies with enough science ships to explore enough systems for you to use your colonies. This is best when used in a larger map, where there is a less likelyhood of you meeting your opponent early. Around 3-4 colonies is built, enough sciences to explore, and perhaps 1-2 attacks.

Cons: You will be behind in tech. You will not be able to build for quite awhile, any close encounters will leave a dent. If your systems that are “good” are too far away, you’ve wasted time and resources.

4 – Techy:
What this amounts to is waiting for BR2 quickly. This allows you to explore past enemy lines, allow for a quick overbuild, or allow for you to colonize without being destroyed. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t build any sciences at all, just not very many, so that you will quickly get to BR2. This strategy is usually best for either a small map, or a map where you will be able to establish a firm position when making it to the next BR. Usually 0-2 sciences will be built for this strategy.

Cons: Sometimes the opponent can establish a position before you even meet him and he will have caught up to you in tech because he popped. This allows for the opponent to explore your territory freely.

5 – Explore and OB:
It is kind of self-explanatory. You build enough ships to explore, you find where your front is with an early science lead, then you make an overbuild to help establish your position, this way you don’t explore at the opposite end of your front.

Cons: When you overbuild you meet your opponent and he gets free vision of your area. You will be behind in tech. Etc.

Creating a Plan:
There are many different ways for someone to open up, but all contributes to a plan that they decide when going into a game. Throughout the game you will understand your position and situation better. The idea is to always have a plan. Ask yourself: What advantages do I have? What advantages does my opponent have? Where is his strong point? All of these questions contribute to your overall plan, after answering these questions allow yourself to win the smaller obstacles. Create a plan to nuke the front, or to stop his colonization, etc. He who carries out his plan first will usually win.

The Slow Pop:
If we consider stormer’s Exploration Edge, think of how much edge we are losing by dismantling our sciences when popping. When you slow pop you: 1) Gain an exploration edge, 2) Gain a small Opposition Edge (explained later), 3) You are “secretly” popping (to many novice players anyway). Someone said to me, “But you lose a tech edge.” If you do it right – you will lose approximately .500-.800 over your opponent (on an average 1.500-2.00 tech increase). What you gain is more than what you lose!

Tunnels vs. Crossroads:
There is a clear advantage when one player has a tunnel with a Backup Builder and the other has many connected systems to each. Assuming that both players have the same econ and tech, the player with the tunnel will win. It is harder to force ships through a hole one system wide than it is with a bunch of connected systems. It is easier to defend a tunnel, the opponent can’t explore past it, it’s harder to dance his ships. In the midgame, if you are faced with this problem, use to engineer to make a tunnel… it can win you a game. It also allows for an easier chance to gain the opposition through a tunnel, also, which I will talk about next.

Gooseberry writes that there are three edges, stormer says that there is one more, this is all true, but there exists one last edge that SC Gods don’t want you to know, and determines the outcome to every game.

The Opposition Edge:
This is perhaps the only edge, which is totally controlled by YOU. Opposition is when you dictate what the other player does. While your opponent has different decisions to make – essentially you control what he does – Yes, a complete Paradox. What does he mean by this? Well, pretend there are two bordering fronts, which are both builders. No ships are on either system, no one has the opposition because no one can dictate what the other player does. However, if P1 has two ships on his builder and P2 has none – then P1 has the opposition because he now dictates what the other player does. If P1 just sends his ships in and build a couple more – then P2 might build just enough to counter. However, P2 knows that he has the possibility of having P1 overbuild, his ships will be insufficient against P1 and essentially P1 will nuke that system. Now, if P2 overbuilds then P1 has the possibility to send his ships in – this will destroy his overbuild and essentially he will nuke this system. The situation of P1 having opposition wouldn’t be so bad if he had a backup builder, but P1 still have the opposition. Let’s say that there is a neutral system in between both of the fronts. To gain the opposition you must have systems in the neutral system. Gaining control of the opposition will win you the game. Most of the time this consists of always building a couple of ships so that you can pressure the opponent to build ships too, if he doesn’t then you have the opposition. About the only time it’s not good is if you are way behind in tech.

Defending the Opposition – The Backup Builder:
If you are the kind of guy (or girl) who likes defense (I am), since defense is key to winning, how might one defend the opposition. Sometimes you pop one turn later than your opponent and now has the opposition. Your best defense is the Backup Builder. This enables you to overbuild without the chance of being destroyed, and if you’re opponent sends too many ships in stupidly to be destroyed by your overbuild, you now have the opposition. It is key to know that it is better – in the beginning of the game – to sacrifice colonizing a backup system to become a Backup Builder over the Big Papa you see in a distance. Though your resources will be considerably higher if you took that system, you might as well hand the game over to your opponent because his opposition will win him your front system, and now he has a cushion along with his systems to beef up. It’s better to sacrifice a Backup Builder, defend the blow and then go get the Big Papa. The second way of defending the opposition is the satellite, which brings me to my next topic. Note: I didn’t say the mine – because unless you are playing an idiot, you won’t win the battle because once you have no builder your opponents opposition will be too strong for you to defend your front builder.

Understanding the Power of Satellites:
Someone said to me the other day, “I didn’t know your tech would be so high with all of those sats you had.” Most SC players don’t TRULY understand the power of the satellite. Consider this: A BR2 Attack ship costs 4 Minerals and 8 Fuel to maintain. However, a BR2 Satellite ship only costs 2 Minerals and 0 Fuel to maintain. Let’s put the difference in cost of resources between these two ships to a fraction - 12 to 2, which reduces 6 to 1. Or this way – that a Sat costs 1/6 of what an Attack does to maintain. Or this way – that you could maintain 6 Sats for the same cost as an Att. Think of the difference this makes on your tech. It’s a considerable amount! Now, it does cost a bit of a closer fraction to BUILD a satellite compared to an attack, but over time think of the tech increase difference – their powerful!

Wasting Agriculture:
There is one seemingly big problem with most SC players and they don’t even know it. First, let me explain to you how you get minerals and fuel. Once you’ve colonized a system, you only gain as many minerals or fuel which is on that planet, and that there is population. For each population you have, that accounts for the minerals or fuel that you have for that planet. When I say that you are wasting it, I mean that you are not manipulating your numbers to get the most out of your Agriculture. Here is an example.

  • HW – 100 Minerals, 100 Ag, 100 Fuel – 77 Population
    1st Sys. – 7 Minerals, 41 Ag, 25 Fuel – 41 Population
    2nd Sys. – 34 Minerals, 27 Ag, 38 Fuel – 50 Population

Now, the ordeal is that your 2nd System must be a builder, so where your problem is, is with your HW and your 1st System. You are just allowing your HW and 1st System to develop in population as it goes, not even caring about what amount it has. With this set the way that it is you have – 134 Minerals and 140 Fuel. Your problem is that you have 41 population on the 1st System when you should have more on your HW. Let’s say that you made the following adjustments.

  • HW – 100 Minerals, 100 Ag, 100 Fuel – 100 Population
    1st Sys. – 7 Minerals, 41 Ag, 31 Fuel – 8 Population
    2nd Sys. – 34 Minerals, 27 Ag, 38 Fuel – 50 Population

Now, you would have – 141 Minerals and 146. You actually have more now than you did before! I see this all of the time, sometimes it is a smaller amount of difference, but that little difference can win you one more ship than your opponent.

These are perhaps the most fundamental of SC strategy’s however, they are not taught, because the best don’t want YOU to become just as good as them. I will end with giving you some words for the common mistakes. I promise you that if you use these fundamentals - just like anything else - they will win it for you. In time you will become better at making decisions, but using these fundamentals win games.


Common Mistakes:

In a 2 player grudge and you are nuking, now is the time to do another pop if you need to. If you win, it won’t make a difference, if you don’t all your ships are destroyed anyways.

Building ships is more costly than upholding ships, so restore your old ones instead of building new ones.
In large maps, many totally ignore the idea of using cloakers. It’s the easiest thing to nuke unguarded systems! Do it!

NEVER make a deal with a diplomat if it will hurt you. If he wants to colonize your systems instead of working on his – this will cost you and him the game, better that you nuke him and at least get a nuke out of the game then letting him hurt you by taking your systems.

Playing me! ;)


[ Home ] [ 2.8 Tips ] [ 3.0 Tips ] [ Version 4.0 ] [ Tricks and Traps ] [ Blood Game Etiquette ] [ Links ]